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JFH Music Review

Branan Murphy, 'Life Is Hard. God Is Good.'

Branan Murphy
Life Is Hard. God Is Good.

Artist Info: Discography
Genre(s): Pop / Worship
Album length: 14 tracks: 48 minutes, 54 seconds
Street Date: March 1, 2024


For the first time in five years, Branan Murphy is releasing a full feature-length album. Believe it or not, his debut Who Am I? came out in 2019, and Murphy has since stayed consistent with singles and EP's. While Who Am I? had its shortcomings, the endeavor was relatively diverse and showcased the potential Murphy had in this scene. Unfortunately, this five-year wait has not resulted in a stronger effort, as Branan's creativity is seemingly stifled in Life Is Hard. God Is Good.

From a lyrical perspective, Murphy keeps a similar theme throughout the project. The title is self-explanatory, and the topics covered from song to song reflect the message of God's faithfulness through life's trials. An example of this is found in the catchy title track, "Life is hard, God is good / He's fighting for me like He promised He would / Hearts will break, He will heal / No matter how the moment might feel." The piano-driven "Look At What Grace Can Do" is a testimony to God's merciful hand in Branan's life, despite his mistakes, "Look at how love pulled me through / I made a mess, but He rearranged everything in the room / Nothing I could deserve, I don't know what you've heard / But let me be the proof, look at what Grace can do."

The disappointing aspect to this record is the lackluster musical landscape. Gone are the shades of rap, hip-hop, and gospel that helped set him apart with his original release. In their place, it's the same run-of-the-mill, radio pop-esque progressions from start to finish. In fact, the most musically intriguing piece on the entire outing is the "Intro," which doesn't exactly set the tone for the rest of the album. Those looking for the upbeat, hip-hop infused tracks such like "Enough" or "All The Wrong Things" from Who Am I? will be in for a dissatisfying listen.

One outlier towards the back end is "Palaces," which does feature traits of what we saw from Branan back in 2019. However, given the overall tone of the rest of the record, it almost feels out of place in its setting. Generally speaking, Life Is Hard. God Is Good. doesn't raise the bar for Branan Murphy in any regard. Diehard fans will likely find something to enjoy here, but for the casual listener, this one probably isn't worth the time. Considering the five-year break between full-length releases, it feels like Branan left a lot on the table with this project.

- Review date: 2/21/23, written by James Larsen of

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. Record Label: DREAM Label Group
. Album length: 14 tracks: 48 minutes, 54 seconds
. Street Date: March 1, 2024
. Buy It: Amazon Music (MP3)

  1. Intro (1:22)
  2. Life Is Hard. God Is Good (3:14)
  3. Love Won't Let Go (3:18)
  4. Look At What Grace Can Do (3:40)
  5. The Prophet (Interlude) (0:58)
  6. Father (3:33)
  7. Close (3:32)
  8. Still (5:26)
  9. God Of My Tomorrow (3:21)
  10. Thankful (2:54)
  11. Love Like That (3:09)
  12. Palaces (4:14)
  13. Kintsugi (4:51)
  14. To The Lamb (5:30)



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